Fibromyalgia and Foot Pain
Posted by Jenn F. on Thursday, August 30th, 2012
Feet are very sensitive–not-cry-at-sad commercials sensitive, but feel pain easily kind of sensitive. The soles of your feet have more nerve endings per square centimeter than any other part of the body, so you’re naturally set up to feel pain there. Now add a condition that causes you to feel pain throughout your body; suddenly your feet become centers of deep hurt.
Fibromyalgia is a complicated, chronic pain condition that causes widespread pain throughout the body, particularly in areas like the back, neck, chest, shoulders, hips, hands, and feet. Pain is typically worse in the morning and at night. Additional symptoms include include sleep disorders, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems and depression. About 80% of the people who suffer from fibromyalgia are women. The reality of life with fibromyalgia is difficult and frustrating (maybe virtual reality will come to the rescue). There is no absolute defined cause, but the best guess is that it’s an auto-immune disorder that inflames nerve endings, causing pain.
Foot pain from fibromyalgia, if ignored, can make everything else worse. Trying to favor or ease up on the feet can cause knee, hip, and back problems. Fibromyalgia sufferers who are encouraged to remain active may find themselves reluctant to get involved in physical activity because their feet hurt, which creates a vicious circle; avoiding physical activity gets in the way of improving their overall condition, which means their feet don’t improve, which keeps them from physical activity, and so on and so on.
So what can you do to help out the pain in your feet if you have fibromyalgia?
- People who have fibromyalgia may already be under the care of a regular doctor or rheumatologist, but they should also consider seeing a podiatrist. A podiatrist at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine (212.996.1900) can advise them about specific treatment for their feet that can help with their overall health. Also, a podiatrist can detect any other foot conditions that you have which are just being made worse by fibromyalgia and treat those.
- Make sure you are wearing the right shoes. Choose low-heeled shoes that offer your feet plenty of support. Also, make sure you are wearing the right size shoes!
- Consider adding cushioning inserts or supports in your shoes for extra help. You can buy one size fits all versions of these in a drugstore or a podiatrist can custom-fit your feet for orthotics that can address your specific areas of pain.
- Start any exercise program carefully. Don’t give up too easily, but don’t overdo it at the beginning; try to build it up carefully to allow your feet and body to get used to the workload. Talk to a podiatrist about the best choices of exercise for you.
- Try these remedies for sore feet on particularly bad days. [ADD LINK]
Living with fibromyalgia is hard, so anything you can do to help yourself is worth investigating. Improving your foot health is a great step forward for you!
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.